Each EV model has a different charging time, and that's because every car company is working with different technology. For example, some cars can charge in as little as 15 minutes and others can take over 30 hours. The exact time will depend on how big your battery is, the charging power of the charging station, and how depleted your battery was before you started charging it.
To help you gain an understanding of electric car charging times, we’ll provide insight into:
Factors that can affect charging speed
An overview of standard chargers, rapid chargers and home chargers to provide insight into the varying levels of charging times
The charging capacity of some of the most popular EV models
Here at Allstar, we provide electric charging solutions for fleets. We are passionate about making charging easy, enabling customers to identify the most convenient charging facilities in the UK.
Every electric vehicle is different, even vehicles by the same manufacturer will differ. There are also various factors that alter charging speed from day to day. However, when switching out petrol cars for electric vehicles, understanding charging speeds is important to route planning.
1 Your state of charge (SoC)
To figure out how long it will take for your car to charge, first you need to determine what percentage of its battery capacity is used up. The state of charge is measured in percentages - the lower the SoC, the faster it charges. Charge speeds are higher for EVs between 20% and 80% charge, but they slow down significantly below 20% and over 80%.
2 Maximum charging rate
Each EV is built with a fixed maximum charging rate, a figure that cannot be changed no matter how fast the speed of the charger you use is. This means that you won’t necessarily save time at a higher kWh charging station. With the correct connector, you can (in most cases) charge at ultra-rapid stations but the maximum power your EV can accept cannot exceed the maximum rate, therefore the time it takes to charge won’t change.
3 The charge point
Charging time is also heavily dictated by the type of charge point you use and whether you plug in at a slow or rapid charging point. No matter the max power your EV can accept, a slower charger will cap the speed at which it charges at.
In order for an EV to be charged, it must use Direct Current (DC). If you are using a standard outlet to charge (AC), a converter will convert the AC power into DC. An EV can only receive so much AC power through a converter. Therefore, this type of charging reaches its maximum capacity at around 22kWh in some vehicles while at speeds as low as 3.7kWh in others.
4 Weather conditions
Vehicle efficiency and charging times are affected by both lower and higher temperatures. Low temperatures can lengthen the charging time, whereas hot weather conditions could affect the car’s thermal management systems – both extreme weathers could affect the efficiency.
5 The charging socket
Charging sockets in the UK have the flattened head of the newer Type 2 socket, which charges faster than the older Type 1. Adapters are available for Type 1 and Type 2 cables so that they can be connected to charging stations with either socket type.
There are many different charging options available for EV owners. From home charging to ultra-rapid public chargers, they all provide varying ranges of charging power. Depending on the charging point used and other factors, the vehicle battery can be recharged as fast as 15 minutes, whereas others may take 30+ hours to fully charge.
With that in mind, it’s important to understand the different types of charging points and what they are capable of achieving.
Taking the Nissan Leaf (40kWh battery) as an example, a home charging point would charge this vehicle in the following durations(from empty to full):
3.6kW: 11 hours – up to 15 miles of range per hour of charging
7kW: 6 hours – up to 30 miles of range per hour of charging
A 3 kW unit could take between 6-12 hours, depending on the electric vehicle being charged.
A ‘granny charger’ cable is usually required to connect an electric vehicle to a slow charging unit as these are untethered.
Many owners of electric vehicles charge their vehicles overnight using slow charging, which is one of the most commonly used charging methods.
While slow units can be found in homes, they are also available at workplaces and at public points. However due to the time required to reach a full charge, slow charge points are best utilised in the home for overnight charging.
In spite of the fact that slow charging can be accomplished with a standard 3-pin socket, because of the higher current requirements of EVs and the longer charging time, an accredited installer is strongly advised to install a dedicated EV charging wallbox unit at home or at work for those who need to charge regularly.
Public chargers tend to be untethered, requiring the EV owner to use their own cable to top up.
Provides DC power directly to the car’s battery, allowing for faster charging.
Fast chargers are usually rated at either 7 kWh or 22 kWh, a 22kWh rapid charger will take around 2 hours to charge on average.
Public chargers can range from anything from 7kWh to over 150 kWh, however, most of the charging points in the UK are AC fast chargers with a maximum output of 22 kWh. Many fast chargers can be located in Supermarket car parks, service stations and leisure centres and aim to provide enough power for a mid-journey top up. However, fast chargers are also suitable for home charging providing a wallbox is installed.
The most common type of public charger is 7 kWh fast charger using type 1 or type 2 connectors. Most average EVs can be charged fully in up to 4 hours should they need to charge up outside of the home.
A Type 2 unit can be used for charging almost all EVs and PHEVs, provided the cable is correct. Most plug-in car owners have a cable with a Type 2 connector on the charger side.
As of the end of October 2022, 95% of the chargers on the Allstar electric charging network are fast, rapid and ultra-rapid.
The Allstar network also has access to 85% of the UK motorway service sites.
Some EV models can be charged fully in just 15 minutes using ultra-rapid chargers.
A rapid charger charges at 43kW - 50kW, whereas an ultra-rapid charger typically charges at 150kW+, and some rapid chargers are capable of charging up to 350kW, though other maximum EV charging speeds between these figures are possible.
As expected, rapid and ultra-rapid chargers are the fastest available - there are both AC and DC versions. Depending on the EV model, a battery can be charged to 80% in 20-30 minutes using a 50kW rapid DC charger.
This time is reduced drastically when using an ultra-rapid charger, which of course, can only be utilised by compatible EVs.
Service stations and other public locations are the most common places where electric vehicle rapid chargers are located. They are often the most expensive way to charge your electric vehicle. Most electric vehicle drivers prefer to use a rapid charger at public stations during long journeys to top up and install a fast charger at home for general charging. Rapid chargers are usually most cost-effective when used this way.
In 2022, the number of ultra-rapid chargers available to most EV models has increased by 40%, catering to the growing demand for charging infrastructure as we move towards 2030.
Although we can roughly estimate the charging times based on the charging type, state of charge (SoC) and battery size, we know that the statistics and averages given online may not always be accurate.
That’s why we asked Tom Rowlands, MD of Global EV Solutions at Allstar Business Solutions to provide some insight on his personal experience with charging a BMW IX3. For comparison, we predicted the charging times for the BMW IX3 on various connectors. It’s important to note that these figures are based on charging to full capacity from zero, most EV drivers are advised not to wait until the battery gets to 0% before recharging.
150kW ultra rapid
We asked Tom the following questions in relation to his experience of charging the BMW IX3:
Q: How long does it approximately take to charge at a public charging station?
A: Using a 7 kWh station as an example, it would take about 6-7 hours to go from 20% to 80%. If I charged up at 22 kWh, it would take around 2 hours.
Q: How long does it take to charge using a fast or rapid charger?
A: At a 50KwH station, it would take about 45 mins to go from 20% to 80%. If using a 150 kWh charger, it would take around 15- 20 mins.
Q: How long does it tend to take to charge from a home charging point?
A: This depends on various factors. An average home charger would be 7 kWh so to fully charge from flat it would be like 10-11 hours. However, if I used a 3 pin plug it would take up to 30-35 hours.
Q: Any additional tips for maximising battery life?
A: Never let your EV get to 0% and don’t charge to 100% unless doing a long trip to improve the performance of the battery over time.
Interestingly, these statistics aren’t too dissimilar to the figures presented by ZapMap. However, drivers should take care to forward-plan and locate their nearest charging points before heading on long journeys using the Allstar Co-Pilot app and Site Locator.